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 Academic Writing Studio

Supporting your research and writing journey

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Planning Q4 of 2023-24 (April, May, June)

  • Do you want to work more reasonable hours but aren’t sure how to do that given the demands?
  • Do you feel like planning is useless because there is always something you need to respond to that throws off your plans?
  • Are you particularly frustrated about how this is affecting your writing?
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Stress isn’t caused primarily by overwork, though that certainly doesn’t help. The main contributor to stress is lack of control.

In theory, the autonomy you have as an academic gives you control over how and when you do your work. In practice, the quantity of work, the culture of your department and institution, and the policy context make it difficult to assert that control.

Planning helps you regain some control over your workload and your time!

I offer a suite of planning classes to help you write throughout the year. The final one of the 2023-24 year is coming up soon and is available to register for as a single class.

Planning Q4 of 2023-24 (April, May, June)

Friday 22 March 2024
10 am Eastern/2 UK & Ireland/
your time zone

Daylight Saving Shenanigans Ahead! Double check time zone differences for the call!


This class is based on some key principles:

  • The time available for writing varies in quality and quantity, depending on where you are in the cycle of the year.
  • Your writing project requires different types of work to move forward.
  • You can’t do everything. You have to prioritise & set boundaries.

Since we start the Academic Writing Year on 1 July, this quarter is the end of the year. We’ll pay attention to the transitions that happen at this time of year, and address your eagerness to get to “summer writing”. We’ll also face the fact that you are exhausted, and need to pace yourself and build in rest.

Planning Q4 of 2023-24 (April, May, June) will help you:

  • Acknowledge your wins from the previous quarter.
  • Revise your annual goals, and decide what you want to prioritize before the year is out.
  • Manage the transitions that happen for you this quarter.
  • Set realistic writing goals based on the amount and kind of time available.

This class will be particularly helpful if you are frustrated by a feast or famine approach to writing, and want to imagine what a more consistent writing practice might look like for you.

The purpose of a plan is to inspire action. Planning Q4 will provide a framework that will help you plan your months, and your weeks as you go through the next few months.

Unfortunately, I can’t entirely eliminate your frustration. There are structural limits on your scope of control. The choices you have may not be the choices you want.

But you can reduce your frustration, and optimise your control.

How it works

The class is built around a 2-hour live session via Zoom.

  • A guided reflection to identify priorities & challenges
  • Coaching support to help you figure out the tricky bits

There is also preparatory material including:

  • Prompts to review your annual plan with compassion
  • Journaling prompts for observing your situation
  • Questions to help you gather information to inform your personal plan

The live session focuses on writing time. It will be recorded and transcribed, then added to the class page in the week following the session so you can make more detailed notes, or revisit the class if things really go off the rails later.

There are additional reflection prompts and downloadable worksheets to help you avoid overworking so you get enough rest.

  • Decide how to limit your average weekly working hours.
  • Make a plan for taking your annual leave.
  • Plan how much time you need to schedule for all your teaching related activities.

You will have access to these materials until the end of the quarter, 30 June 2023.

Not sure?

Planning can feel pointless, especially if you are facing uncertainty about childhood illness, strikes, extreme weather events, etc. The longer the time horizon the more unknowns, and the more likely it is for things to go awry.

At this point in the year you may be feeling hopeless about all the intentions you had last summer. This class will help you start where you are now and make a plan for the next 3 months that feels possible.

Taking a class provides a structure to help you do reflection and planning.

“Planning for the coming term is such a simple concept but so overlooked in academia! Sitting down, once a quarter and thinking through the next three months, made me realize that I actually do have time in my schedule for writing. Connecting planning to goal-setting created the pathway to achieving those goals.” (Assistant Professor, Dance Studies, Teaching Stream (Tenure-track), Public research university)

Join us!